Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Just to say...

... that I did write something slightly more thoughtful on another blog today: Let's get digital: play - so am exhausted now. BUT couldn't finish for the evening without linking to this. It's just for you Guy. Hope that you like it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

An uncanny likeness indeed

I promised... and I will therefore produce the goods - although I am slightly concerned that you may never view me in the same way again. But hey... it's not about you!

So..., I began impersonating Deirdre about the time that Ken left her - for the first time I think (because if my memory serves me correctly, he has married and left Deirdre twice - although perhaps I am mistaken. Candian intelligence is needed here). Anyway, my talent peaked at about the time of 'Samir', Dierdre's ill-fated Turkish husband, who came before Mike Baldwin.

In impersonating Deirdre, I focus on two features in particular: the words spoken; and the quality of tension in the neck area. Please see below and imagine the voice...

"Ken, Ken, don't leave me Ken!"


"Samir, Samir, come back Samir!"

I think that you will agree, the likeness is remarkable - and perhaps enhanced by having to say the words yourself.

My success with Deirdre led to a desire to try a new, and perhaps more challenging character altogether. So I chose Gail Tilsley/Platt/etc. for her remarkable ability to puff out her cheeks and disappear her chin.

In this example, you might like to try the lines:

"OOOooh Sarah Lou, you'll be the death of us all"


"Mam, I've told you before... just leave it"

I recognise that this impression is not quite perfect yet - but traces of Gail in all her glory definitely shine through.

So dear Canadian fans of The street, I hope that you are not too overwhelmed - or in fact jealous of my impersonating talent. This is indeed a light that has been hidden under my bushel(l?) for many, many years... and just think, it has taken the wonders of the digital age and new social practices around technology to expose this simple talent.

Thank you Tim Berners-Lee for helping to make this all possible.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Forest... The magic Forest and the power of Ohhhhhmmmmm

I went to yoga and ohhhhhmmmmd a bit (Thank you Dr Rob, Dr Joolz and Guy for your support during this crisis). It seemed to work - because... presto....Here we are in the magic forest. Isn't it wonderful. See the twisty turny oak trunks. Imagine stroking the mossy boulders. Feel the warmth of the dappled sunlight reaching into the green depths. I just love it here. It makes me feel like a little woodland troll.

It is actually called Black-a-tor Copse and is an area of national natural scientific wonderblah blah blah, because it is an ancient high altitude oak forest with lots of lovely lichens. You may be wondering when I developed this interest in greenery and shrubs: well - fickle-me-not ye of little faith (woodland troll-speak): I got 'D' for Botany A' level in 1985. So may I recommend that you find a high altitude oakland forest near you for a magical day out sometime.

In case you were wondering - Martin is adjusting his Rucksac buckle, and I am wearing my new climafit waterproof overtrousers and all-purpose headscarf.

Somewhere in the magical forest....

Deary me, I have just tried three more times to upload the picture of the magical forest. It is so bloomin magical that it won't bloomin upload, which, quite frankly, is getting on my nerves! This is its last chance...

AAARGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH. Guy, this is the equivalent of flatpack torture. (But at least I can still link! As a desperate measure I have tried to upload a picture of Martin's favourite spatula - one that has previously appeared - and that won't upload either. It is saying 'done' - but there is nothing there. The pictures are just in my images file - but normally that works.

I am getting very stressed and I have got to go to yoga. What can I do????????????

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Baku-shan - and the need for more words

This weekend has been splendid.
First I read the Times on Saturday and learnt that despite our fabulous and ever-evolving English language being so varied and descriptive, we just don't have the words to cover every eventuality. For example, Baku-shan is a Japanese word that describes a woman who looks better from behind. This is not particularly well demonstrated by the image that I have uploaded from our super Sunday yomp, and I do hope that Di doesn't mind, but the idea is just great. It is so specific. We just seem to have highly-generalised terms like Minger and Munter and Moose (Thank you Martin for these helpful suggestions). Baku-shan however conjures the disappointment that we must all (male or female) have experienced when brought up short by a less than pleasing second impression. Personally, I know that I look better from the front. I look particularly horrific from behind, and have screamed often in Marks and Spencer's changing rooms when confronted with my rear view in one of those bizarre articulating mirrors.

Second, I spent some lovely time with my little friend Clare. Here she is, wireless on MSN, and talking about her online conversations to another friend, while watching Xfactor with me. Now... We have had the phrase 'Continuous Computing' for a while (yet more thanks to Mr Roush due here), but I don't think that these words really describe what was going on at 7.15pm with Clare in my living room. So, over to you dear blurkers. Any suggestions? What words can I use to describe this fabulous connectivity (if, indeed, this is fabulous connectivity - as I have to confess that I haven't got my head around this word yet, and wikipedia was no use!)?

Third, I am without bloggable words - because I can't load any more pictures!!!! AAARGHHHH. So will be back soon, when I can, as I want to show you my Dierdre and Gail impressions, and the magic woods that I visited today.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Wonder in Weatherfield

I haven't watched Coronation Street since the days of Derek, Mavis and Pendlebury Paper Products - In fact, I don't watch our homegrown soaps at all, preferring to get my soap fix from the sunnier brand and story lines offered by Ramsay Street. HOWEVER, last night, I have to admit that I was lured back to the ginnels of Weatherfield following an intriguing interview on the radio. It turns out that Status Quo - long time fans of 'the Street' - have secured cameo roles in Corrie for the next six weeks.

Now, so bemused was I by potential for creativity offered by the combination of Betty Turpin and the oldest rockers in town, that I switched on. And boy am I glad that I did.

It was magnificent. Let me conjure my favourite moment:

The scene: Francis Rossi and the one with long blonde hair walk up to Betty at the bar of the Rovers. Francis Rossi is in a neck brace.

Francis: What food have you got love?
Betty Turpin: Hotpot

And that was it! After that it just got better and better. I haven't laughed so much for ages. I can't tell you about any of the other bits because I don't know who the characters were - but I will definitely keep watching. So thank you Granada Television for a simply fabulous start to the weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Today I want this life...

... but I got this one instead.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Comfortably Numb

"Hello (hello... hello...) ... is there anybody out there?... just nod if you can hear me... Is there anyone home?" blah blah blah...

(Please see and listen to Pink Floyd or the Scissor Sisters - I have a version for every generation - well, two I suppose if I am being pedantic.)

But yes, I have BECOME comfortably NUMB - for a few weeks and in blogging terms anyway. I have entered and dwelled awhile in a new place that I would like to name CLARE'S BLOG HOLE.

For clarification, let me refer to Wikipedia: "According to classical general relativity, neither matter nor information can flow from the interior of a black hole to an outside observer." HMMM sounds about right - well almost. This definition presumes that I had something to say from within my BLOG HOLE. However, I can categorically deny this. I had nothing to say, no wit, no ideas. It just all went away. Life, for a short while became simple again. And I liked it!

But tonight I am back, ripped from my hole by a news story that really has made me sad - and which perhaps I shouldn't refer to in the same post as the flippant comments above. So I shall leave a suitable space:

(I am afraid that this space isn't suitable - but it will have to do)

The Great North Run
In the car, on my way home from work, I heard on the radio that four men had died yesterday having participated in the Great North Run. Now this is truly awful - almost unbelievable really. Obviously at a personal level the tragedy experienced by the friends and families is indescribable, and I am not about to comment about that. But for other reasons too, I find this a really sad story.

The Great North Run is a tremendous race - the largest half marathon in the world. Yesterday, around 50,000 people took to the streets of Newcastle and beyond to achieve a personal or perhaps charity-driven goal - namely to run 20kms, or 13.1 miles. I watched some of it - this was unplanned viewing. I had returned from a comparitively very modest jog around the woods and had turned the TV on while stretching. I was so moved to see all those thousands of people running, and all their supporters watching. I was moved to tears by some of the personal stories - five medical staff were running to raise money in memory of a colleague: a liver transplant survivor, who had subsequently trained to become a nurse specialising in working with transplant patients. She had died this January, aged only thirty, but had inspired her colleagues to run to raise money to fund other nurses to specialise in working with transplant patients.

Stories like these are both extraordinary and commonplace at these mass participation endurance events, and seem to inspire everyday people to set themselves goals that are outside of their everyday limits. Personally, I think that this is absolutely fantastic. That other people can pound the streets to raise money for others I find amazing. This inspiration is generated largely by the very positive media coverage that these events spawn (not spurn!). I am another sort of runner - a selfish one: I have never run to raise money for others - simply to achieve my own goals and for the sheer exhiliration of knowing that 'I have done it'. But I don't think that this matters particularly. Hats off to anyone who runs, or tries to run thirteen miles. I have done it - and it is very, very difficult.

SO I am really sad, that an event such as this should be remembered, and covered extensively in the media because of the tragic deaths of four runners. I don't know the details about how they died - but I do know that newspaper and media reports blaming the organisation of this event are irresponsible. I am also speaking from experience when I say that the weather yesterday wasn't hot enough to exclusively take the blame either. The Great West Run takes place every May bank holiday. It is usually boiling hot - hot enough for friendly firemen to be spraying their hoses - and for severe surnburn to the shoulders - and as far as I am aware, no one has died.

The fact seems to me to be that no corporate group or weather phenomenon can be blamed for these tragic deaths. As far as I am aware, the organisation was marvellous, with ambulances and water readily available for competitors. The media seem to have taken possession of these events - and caused the growth in their popularity. It would be really sad if irresponsible reporting, and the need to find a scapegoat, where none exists, leads to yet more beaurocracy and nanny-stating. I am afraid that, as hard as it sounds, any sunday morning run carries risks, as does any bike ride or walk on the hills. I am desperately sorry for those touched by the deaths of the four runners - and the runners themselves - but while I can choose to run and participate in events of this kind, I am firmly aware that the sole responsibility for my well-being rests with one person: me.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

What a spectacle

Today I tried to purchase some new spectacles. This was a humiliating experience. First I learnt that I have reached an age when the optician has to puff air at your eyeballs. This made me scream a little bit. Then I went to a darkened room where another man turned my eyelids inside out. Through this, I kept entirely silent.
Then I was taken downstairs and handed various frames to try. Some were too up-turned at the corners; some too harsh for my colouring; some too big (although apparently we won't be able to get them big enough soon as the 'Deirdre' look is back. - For my overseas blurkers, 'Dierdre' is a very famous character from Coronation Street. She used to thrust her neck outwards in a way that I can, and do replicate, and say "Ken, Ken, Don't leave me Ken". Then she married several murderers and murderees if I remember correctly. Anyway I digress.) I thought that you might like to see just how hard it is to be me. Here is why buying glasses is tricky:
1. I have a pin-head
2. I have a slightly big nose with a wide bridge - which wouldn't be big if my head wasn't pin-like
3. Because I am small, I don't want to look through a frame at peoples' faces, so I want glasses like a snooker player and they don't appear to sell these at my opticians
4. My ears are not level
4. My hair is very crap at the moment
5. I have learnt that glasses create an image - and I don't want one.

Anyway, the very kind man who had turned my eyelids inside out, took pity on me and let me bring four pairs home - all of which make a "very different statement". Perhaps you would like to share what you think the statement is. Here are my suggestions:
Les Dawson would look good in these
Is that Dierdre's neck I can see?

I may stick with may daily disposable lenses - but would welcome any feedback.

By the way... here is Dierdre. Isn't she marvellous?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Normal bloghaviour will soon be resumed

Hello blurkers (Thank you for this: you know who you are!)
Just to say that blogging and I are having a break this week due to general very busyness - although I am touched that so many of you have blurked awhile on these - sometimes - shall we say "less than challenging", perhaps 'simple' even - pages (how's that for punctuation?)
So... as the big guy says... "I'll be back"